Jerusalem Rising, Part 2

Dr. Craig von BuseckBy Dr. Craig von Buseck8 Minutes

CVB: When I visited Jerusalem in 2003, one of the things that really was amazing to me was the archeology that’s taking place on an ongoing basis. I was just blown away when we walked down a staircase and stepped onto the actual street of a first century marketplace that had been uncovered. It had been underground for centuries. I marveled as I thought, “these are the very stones that Jesus likely walked upon.” Part of Jerusalem rising is that they’re digging down and finding all these amazing artifacts that are confirming the biblical and historical record that the Jews have been there for 3,000 years. What are some of the archaeology that stood out to you as you were writing this book?

Doug: One of the most stunning archaeological sites is the actual location of The City of David. This is the actual ancient city where David made his home. A few years ago, they had been doing a lot of excavation and were expecting a lot more tourism to come in. So they built this large visitor center at the top of the hill. An official archeologist met with them and said, “I’ve got good news and bad news. The good news is we found a large stone structure that could very well be the remnants of David’s palace. The bad news is, it’s directly under this new visitor center.”

They ended up having to place this visitor center on stilts to excavate underneath. They found this huge stone structure with artifacts that completely fit into the timeframe of biblical King David. There were artistic designs in the capstones that were from Tyre and Sidon (ancient cities in Lebanon) found there. You may ask, how does that connect? It was the king of Tyre that built David’s palace. He sent his workman down to do the work. These guys from up north are going be working according to their style for David.

It is amazing the stuff that they’re finding in there. In Jerusalem Rising, I have photos of the exact same area where all of it is unexcavated. Within the City of David excavation, they have found clay seals that were used with ancient scrolls. When you sent a letter in biblical times, you would roll up your message and then you use either hot wax or oftentimes clay, and then press your seal into it to secure the letter. Only those who those with authority were allowed to break that seal and see the message. Most of these pieces were often clay that were a particular signet ring from somebody significant.

When Jerusalem later is burned with fire, as it is described in the scriptures, do you know what happened to the clay? When you place clay into the fire, it it’s like putting it into a kill and it hardens. And so they’re finding these little hardened pieces that have the imprint of biblical people doing exactly what the Bible says that they were doing, in that particular place, at that right timeframe.

Some of these clay pieces have been connected to the prophet Isaiah. I’ve also taken my groups to see one that was found that referred to Hezekiah, King of Judah. It is just stunning to have a name of a biblical king’s authentic signet ring seal in the actual City of David where the Bible says that he was ruling at that exact time.

It’s amazing to see that biblical archeology is simply proving the accuracy of the biblical narrative. Archeology is proving that the Bible actually means what it says.

CVB: What do you want people to walk away with after they look through this visually stunning and historically amazing piece that you’ve created?

Doug: Two things. One is that no other city has had its history foretold. I give the reader that ancient prophecy, all of Zachariah chapter eight, to read through the book. Then when you look at the “then and now” photos, it gives you a sense that God is doing something unique in our day in the land of Israel, in a way that we’ve never seen before. God is actually fulfilling His word exactly. First, He said that He’s keeping his promises about the people in the land to the Jewish nation, and to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And number two, it’s happening right now. It’s happening in our day in a way that our parents or grandparents would have never seen or recognize, let alone been a part of.

Part of my honor and my joy in putting these photo book projects together is to document this stuff – not saying, “Hey, everyone, this is fulfilled and here it is.” But we are in the season where it’s being fulfilled. These are the very beginning steps. Clearly the Lord’s not ruling in Jerusalem yet, but if we read the scriptures and see that the first part of these prophecies are coming about in a very tangible and accurate way, then we can expect the rest of the prophecies about Him returning to Jerusalem and living with His people to also happen in a very practical and tangible way.

While I hope that people enjoy it as a coffee table book, enjoying the photos and letting it sink in that this is happening, I also hope that it turns out to be a type of a signpost of the day and the season that we are in. It is an hour and a season of time in history where God is revealing His kindness to the earth and revealing how faithful He actually is, down to the very words that He said and the very thing that he’s doing. He is showing that He’s very much involved in human history. There is a plan. Later in chapters of Zachariah, it talks about the Messiah arriving on the Mount of Olives, the mountain splitting, and Him entering Jerusalem to rule the nations. But before those things happen, Jerusalem needs to be restored.

Jesus is Jewish. He’s returning to a Jewish city – Jerusalem. Jewish sovereignty in Jerusalem needs to be restored before those prophetic things happen. Right now, we are seeing that restoration. It’s all heading somewhere.

Order your copy of Jerusalem Rising: The City of Peace Reawakens by Doug Hershey